In many cases strong and supportive communities are a huge component of what attracts individuals to particular organizations, brands, or environments.
Of course however, there are no ready-to-go roadmaps for building a community because every audience is a bit different. In this article, we decided to explore one of the most successful community-building efforts in the industry right now and find out their recipe for user engagement.
ClickBank, one of the largest affiliate networks, has roughly 100K subscribers across all media channels, and their following is continually growing. In 2020, their Instagram channel grew from 0 subscribers to 23k, while the blog subscription increased by 16K over the same time. We talked to Sarah Rosin and Taylor Utt at Clickbank who guided and contributed to the growth of the Clickbank community and want to share their invaluable insights with you.
Define common goals and values
How would you describe the ClickBank community?
Sarah: The ClickBank community consists of a robust blend of innovative vendors and highly skilled affiliate marketers. These two cohorts find similarities and engagement over entrepreneurial material and ClickBank-relevant business insights.
Taylor: The ClickBank community is one of the most diverse and dedicated groups I have ever seen. We see entrepreneurs from all walks of life from moonlighting enthusiasts using affiliate marketing as a side hustle, to large-scale brick and mortar businesses with hundreds of employees. The common thread through all of these entrepreneurs is their level of dedication. They have this insatiable desire to learn, grow, and test! The myth of “set and forget” marketing is quickly dispelled once you see what their day to day is like.
Educate and support
How do you educate your user base? Is there a knowledge bank they can come to?
Sarah: We provide informative and educational content through all of our channels and within our help center. However, the best educational content that we offer is our online education platform known as Spark. It offers courses for all levels of vendors and affiliate marketers and takes the guesswork out of leveraging ClickBank. The designers behind Spark also included gamification strategies (quizzes, certificates, and community groups) within the learning platform to provide encouragement and significance to learning achievements.
Taylor: We’ve taken a two-part approach to education. The first is our knowledge base and help center. It has years of in-depth tutorials, FAQs, and step-by-step guides on making the most of your ClickBank account. The second is our education platform named “Spark.” Spark is a 17 course, 68 lessons online education product that helps new affiliates and vendors get started earning their first ClickBank paycheck.
Fulfill the real needs of your audience
What content finds the highest engagement among your audience?
Taylor: Our most engaging content typically centers around anything that can help make affiliates or vendors more money. It sounds obvious, but even something as simple as breaking down the current top offers to promote can foster double, if not triple the engagement rate of other content. People want to know what's working NOW.
Sarah: As far as popular education content, anything revolving around “traffic” and how to get it is always in high demand.
Motivate and encourage growth
How do you recognize the achievements and growth of community members? What does it mean to be a member of the ClickBank community?
Sarah: As ClickBank clients scale their business and increase their profits, they eventually become what are known as Platinum Clients. These clients have a regular event — Platinum Summit — and a private Facebook group, where they can network with our expert staff and each other. Having that level of online marketing success in one conversation is truly something very awesome. Partnerships and business relationships come out of that group regularly. Everyone is very encouraging and the ClickBank team is able to get meaningful feedback on our products.
Taylor: There is definitely a learning curve when it comes to e-commerce and affiliate marketing. Being a member of the ClickBank community means that you don’t have to learn it all by yourself. There are so many channels of support for newbies and experts to draw from when they need help or inspiration.
Having an engaged community of fellow entrepreneurs is something you cannot put a price tag on, but it really defines the brand identity and values. So, if you are ambitious enough to build a community centered around your own brand, consider the following short success formula devised by ClickBank:
- Be member-centric, know the key drivers and motivations of your audience.
- Streamline your users’ learning curve and educate/support them on their journey.
- Recognize and celebrate their successes.
Finally, you should create an environment where members can get inspired and connected with each other. Let them communicate with each other, not just with your brand alone.